The police in Cross River State Thursday rearrested the Editor-In-Chief of Mandate Watch newspaper, Edet Okpo, within the premises of the Federal High Court, Calabar, after Justice Rosemary Oghoghorie struck out charges filed against him.
The judge, while striking out the charges filed by the police, described them as meaningless, saying the prosecutors wasted the court’s time for two years, adding that the charges were drafted very poorly just to punish the defendant.
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The charges bordered on allegations of defamation of character and cybercrime as complained by the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd).
The matter was filed in July 2020 after the journalist was arrested and detained for several weeks in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
But policemen from Zone 6, Calabar, rearrested Okpo on the premises of the court, claiming the judge did not discharge and acquit him.
The police prosecutor and Head of the Legal Department, Zone 6, after detaining the journalist for another four hours, released him after making him sign a bail bond.
The police asked him to report in Calabar every week from Akwa Ibom State.
This is despite the fact that the police have yet to pay the N5m awarded him earlier by Justice Okon Okon of the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Ibiono, as damages for assaulting and detaining him for weeks under severe conditions.
The court had also directed the police to return N2m extracted from Okpo under duress at UBA, Aka Road, Uyo, when they arrested him in July 2020.